Join me, dear readers: wrap a blanket around your neck for a cape, fetch yourself a bowl of the most sugar-filled cavity-inducing cereal you can find, hold the cape in front of your mouth and speak in the most gravelly of batman voices your vocal chords can produce, revel proudly in your silliness and immaturity just like Shazam!
All joking aside though, the above nonsense encapsulates everything that this movie does right. Shazam! remembers that superheroes are fun. It helps us remember why so many of us did wrap blanket capes around our necks and pretend to be superheroes when we were kids, why we dressed up as them for Halloween, and why a few of us took our blanket capes and jumped from the highest structure we could stomach to see if we could fly (spoiler alert: we can’t, but we can break our bones).
The movie understands that it’s a silly concept. It understands that if you try and turn Billy Batson into the Dark Knight, or even an overly broody superman, its attempts at flight will end up just like ours did, with pain and disappointment. Instead, it fully embraces the silly and presents itself in the most enjoyable way possible. I stress how important this is because the acceptance of its own silliness is the thing that makes this movie stand out in a crowded field. This isn’t what we’ve come to expect from DC. it’s not dark, it’s not gritty, at least not in the way DC has been trying to be in its past cinematic ventures. This isn’t to say that the movie doesn’t have dark or serious moments -it does -but it doesn’t let them take over the film. Also, importantly, it’s not trying to be a Marvel movie.
Shazam! is a beast of its own kind, and it has a sense of heart and guilelessness that captures the spirit of the cartoons and comic books that formed the foundation of many a geek’s childhood.
All in all, five out of five.
A must see.